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Ethnic Community Development Forum (Burma)

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Our Customary Lands



New Report: Devolved federal governance crucial to protect sustainable customary land tenure systems in Burma.

Our Customary Lands,’ a report launched today by the Ethnic Community Development Forum “ECDF”, is calling on the government to protect and recognize ethnic customary land management systems through a new federal constitution and decentralized legal framework.

The report provides unique insight into the intricate structuring of seven customary land management systems in six ethnic states, which have enabled communities to protect and sustain local livelihoods and resources for generations.

‘Local communities have their own detailed rules and regulations that promote self-reliant livelihoods and provide stronger environmental protection than the national laws,’ says Kamoon, the lead researcher from ECDF. ‘Decision-making on all major issues related to land is made by consensus in village meetings.’

Investment and premature integration into the centralized national system are threatening existing ethnic land tenure systems, especially following the signing of bilateral ceasefires between ethnic armed groups and the government over the past five years. The government has been promoting individual land titling, which is undermining traditional communal systems.  



Statement from seminar on “Community Action for Mining and Customary Land Rights”

Myanmar Mining Watch Network,
June 23, 2016, Myitkyina, Kachin State.
A seminar on Community Action for Mining and Customary Land Rights was held during June
20th to 22nd, 2016 with participants from Kachin, Kuki, Karen, Karenni, Chin, Taarng, Mon,
Arakan and Shan ethnicities from different States and Divisions. (69) participants from (35)
organizations from campaign groups against large-scale mining,........Read more


Aung San Suu Kyi urged to halt Norwegian backed dam in Shan State

The Norwegian state owned company, Statkraft Norfund Power Invest or SN Power, concluded an MOU for a project known as the Middle Yeywa dam with the previous government in July 2014. This dam is set to be built in a location that has been identified as “seismically hazardous” because it is close to the Kyaukyan fault line.

The three groups behind the statement, the Shan Human Rights Foundation, the Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation and the Shan State Farmers’ Network, say they are very concerned that a study conducted by SN Power failed to take into account the on-going conflict in northern Shan State and how the dam will affect the conflict and whether the conflict would affect the dam.....Read more

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Our Customary Land

Our Customary Land 2


Biofuel By Decree: Unmasking Burma's Biofuel Fiasco 

Biofuel by decree report



Our Customary Lands Documentary

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Mother Land (part 1)

Mother Land (part 2 )

Jetsu Garden and Generals Village

Land Grabbing in Mingaladon.